Old Fisherman’s Grotto Monterey Clam Chowder


Actual recipe from Old Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey

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prep time:
45 min
total time:
2 hr 45 minutes

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Old Fisherman’s Grotto Monterey Clam Chowder photo Save this recipe 25
prep time:
45 min
total time:
2 hr 45 minutes


  • 1 carrot-diced
  • 1 medium onion-diced
  • 1 potato--diced
  • 1 stalk of celery--diced
  • 1/2 lb minced bacon
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic--minced
  • 1/2 quart (2 cups) clam juice
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb chopped clams (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • 1/2 tsp clam base (optional)
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  • 1

    Place vegetables, bacon and butter in a 5 qt sauce pot. Saute over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Be careful not to brown or scorch.

  • 2

    When vegetables are tender, add flour to make a roux. Cook for two minutes, allowing flour to cook while stirring occasionally.

  • 3

    Add clam juice and dairy products. Stir by using a wire whisk.

  • 4

    Add fresh garlic, black pepper, chopped clams and clam base. Cook over low-medium heat stirring occasionally to prevent chowder from scorching. Cook for two hours or until chowder is brought to desired thickness.

Recipe Notes

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Use a crockpot if available. Also, clam juce can be added to thin chowder down if it gets too thick.

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Ratings & Reviews

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  • Jennifer by ,

    I worked at the Grotto for 2 years, from 1988-1990. I got this recipe from them while I was there, and have made it many times since. It's "lost" in storage from a recent move, so I was glad to find it online. This tastes exactly like the real thing. The only thing I don't do is add all the clam juice, I usually just use about one little bottle. The longer you let it sit before you eat it, the better. Thanks for posting it!

  • Beth by ,

    I just got back from a trip to Monterey, CA and had this clam chowder 3 times in the 3 days I was there. This recipe has just about got it down. I didn't have any clam base and would maybe add a little salt. I'd give it an extra half star if I could!

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